Background: Mutations in the leptin-melanocortin pathway genes are known to cause monogenic obesity. The prevalence of these gene mutations and their effect on weight loss response after bariatric surgery are still largely unknown.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of genetic obesity in a large bariatric cohort and evaluate their response to bariatric surgery.
Methods: Mutation analysis of 52 obesity-associated genes. Patient inclusion criteria were a BMI > 50 kg/m2, an indication for revisional surgery or an early onset of obesity (< 10 years of age).
Results: A total of 1014 patients were included, of whom 30 (3%) were diagnosed with genetic obesity, caused by pathogenic heterozygous mutations in either MC4R, POMC, PCSK1, SIM1, or PTEN. The percentage total body weight loss (%TBWL) after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery was not significantly different for patients with a mutation in MC4R, POMC, and PCSK1 compared with patients lacking a molecular diagnosis. Of the confirmed genetic obesity cases, only patients with MC4R mutations receiving a sleeve gastrectomy (SG) showed significantly lower %TBWL compared with patients lacking a molecular diagnosis, during 2 years of follow-up.
Conclusions: In this cohort of morbid obese bariatric patients, an estimated prevalence of monogenic obesity of 3% is reported. Among these patients, the clinical effects of heterozygous mutations in POMC and PCSK1 do not interfere with the effectiveness of most commonly performed bariatric procedures within the first 2 years of follow-up. Patients with MC4R mutations achieved superior weight loss after primary RYGB compared with SG.
Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Early onset obesity; Gastric bypass; Obesity; Obesity genetics; Revisional surgery; Sleeve gastrectomy.